Friday 17 February 2012

Where Are Security When You Need Them?

Security is a big issue at the QVM for both customers and traders. Longer term traders will remember the bad old days when thefts from traders, particularly at the beginning and at the end of the day, were a real problem, and things have improved, or have they?
We are specifically talking about theft of trader’s wallets or purses, so we are talking theft of personal money, credit cards and possibly takings. A trader has reported a recent incident (close of business Friday 10th February) when a thief was seen emptying two bags or wallets in the 20-30 minutes it took security staff to respond to his telephone call for help. At least one of those bags involved the loss of a trader’s wallet, passport, and takings.
Your editor has also experienced apparent lack of interest from security staff around the time of the close of business. Maybe this is when a shift change takes place. Unfortunately it is also a prime time for thieves to target traders. Traders must accept responsibility for their own basic security but when professional thieves are in action we need professional security right up until we leave the market.
Let us know your experiences.

Following is our traders email:

Suspicious behaviour of one visitor on last Friday result with my call to the office to send security.
He visit my stall,uninterested touching few bags, and steering  on me or my wife.
He was looking for opportunity only.
He has only one jacket in the hand( to hide what he steal.

He's gone down towards Queen street through RK- RL shed.
Five minutes late he was back with something under jacket and he sat on tables in M shed.
As I was busy with customer I did not see what he was doing.
I was aware of him when my wife told me " look at this Idiot, he's peeing on our box.
That was the same man from the shop before .
I confronted him in hope of security being there soon.

Tall, app. 180-185 cm, black curly hair, black medium beard, Mediterranean, European appearance. Aussie accent.
Short 3/4 pants, colourful tattoo on legs.
He again disappeared towards Queen street, this time through M shed.
He left the scene with a black backpack.
He left one purse, I checked inside, but there was nothing expect two "libra".
 I went back to my stall hoping security would be there soon.
10 minutes later, he came back walking from nowhere. As I did not take my eyes of him he just passed by through the Gooci stall in L shed.
5 minutes later I saw him in M shed doing the same exercise as before: cleaning someones bag and wallet.
( as we discovered later that was a bag from a shop assistant which was stoled through L shed, with her passport, cards and some cash in the wallet , plus her making from this day)
As I did not know this at that moment, I tried to confront him again, but this time he ran faster and faster down to the Deli section where I lost him.
I rang the office again I tried to tell them my position where i was, but they explained to me how security was waiting for me at my stall!
Well disappointed I was back at my stall and there was no security.
I called the office again to call the security back and to tell them about this man and to give them a description.
They came back and in the middle of the conversation a girl came from the T shirt stall and said,; I can't find my bag, someone stole my bag! 
Response from security was more than pathetic: you shouldn't leave it there!

Sorry for this long story.
Point is:
  • what  happened between my first call for help until security appeared? Two thieves and one chasing? 
  • How quick was the response of Security? 20-30 minutes?
After this experience I will think twice before I call Security:
I lost a few customers and I was late with my packing.
Maybe a poll about Security effectiveness would be better than a coffee poll...

My Question is:
  • What if we have our own record of how many thieves  visit our shops?
  • What if we have a number from where we can report a thief and this message can be distributed as a warning by SMS to all the stall holders within seconds? With description?

Let's talk.

JLP Melbourne TM
Melbourne Australia